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Modena Magic

Words by James Wheeler
All Photos copyright The Classic Motor Hub 2024

Having grown up surrounded by Alfa Romeo cars, James’ love of Italian vehicles was inevitable, but it was always the unusual ones that appealed to him more. Not that he wanted to be different, but he just favoured cars that were not on everyone else’s radar. This is one of the reasons why he has always appreciated the Maserati marque, and he is able to include a couple in his own automotive curriculum vitae.

Although highly regarded for their successful racing cars, Maserati were keen to produce more road cars in the 1950’s and in light of that, they launched the 3500 GT in 1957 as a beautifully designed coupe by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, with a convertible version available from 1959 designed by Vignale and named the 3500 GT Spyder. The 3500 range was a popular car for the storied Modenese maker, and over the years the model evolved with various changes, with production continuing until 1964. Adhering to the Italian tradition of keeping old models in production after their replacement had been launched, the Vignale designed Sebring was launched in 1962. A Coupe with two-plus-two seating, it remained in production until 1969, and to further fill the showrooms of Maserati dealers of the 1960’s, the Frua designed Mistral was also produced between 1963 and 1970 and available in both two-seater Coupe and Spyder (convertible) body styles.

The 3500 GT’s highly regarded 3,485cc twin-cam twin-plug straight-six engine delivered superb performance as well as being visually interesting with its crackle finish cam covers channelling a multitude of wires leading to twelve spark plugs. As well as various increases of displacement to 3,694cc (3700) and 4,012cc (4000) in different models, a significant and visual mechanical change occurred in 1960 with the triple Weber carburettor set up being replaced with Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Additionally, 1961 also saw the standardisation of the fitment of a 5-speed manual transmission.

With the launch of the Maserati Quattroporte in 1963, Ghibli in 1967 and Indy in 1969, Maserati heralded a new type of engine with their fabulous quad-cam V8 engine. Over the years, this engine was available in 4.2, 4.7 and 4.9 derivatives, and it would also power the Bora that was launched in 1971. This Giorgetto Giugiaro designed two-seater Coupe remained in production until 1978, and was powered by both 4.7 and 4.9 versions of the V8 engine, as well as being fitted with unusual and advanced hydraulic technology thanks to Citroen’s then ownership of Maserati.

A Trio of Maseratis or sale

The Classic Motor Hub love the Maserati marque, and currently have a 3500 GT Spyder, Sebring, and Bora for sale in their former war-time RAF Bibury airfield blister hanger.

The 3500 GT Spyder The Hub have is an extremely rare example as it is one of only five cars produced with RHD steering. Built in 1961, it has a well-known history since arriving in England in 1969, and presents beautifully in its original colour after a repaint by respected specialists in 2010. Having had the transmission overhauled in 2022, the car drives as superbly as it looks, and is a joy to pilot thanks to its electric power steering system.

The 1964 3500 GTi Sebring available at The Hub was sold new in The Netherlands and remained there until being acquired by the fourth owner in 2016, and brought to England. Finished in its wonderful original colour combination, it is unusual in having had air conditioning fitted by the factory. Restored in the 1990’s, the car has benefitted from cosmetic improvements in recent years and therefore remains in very good condition, and is also great fun to drive.

The Maserati Bora was a poster car for a generation, and rightfully so when one imagines the incredible sight it would have been to see it being driven enthusiastically along a countryside road soon after it had departed the factory in 1972. Finished in beautiful colours, this Bora has received significant expenditure in recent years so that it now presents and performs magnificently, including an overhaul of its 4700 engine.

Please contact us if any of the cars we have available are of interest, or if you have an excellent classic Maserati you wish to sell. Additionally, with more than two hundred and fifty cars in storage at our various locations in the Cotswolds and an envious number of contacts in the classic car industry after decades of being immersed in it, we know of many cars that are not publicly for sale. Therefore, should you be looking for something we do not have on our website, please contact us as we may know where one is that we can assist you with purchasing.